Diary

The Washington Post goes full-bore birther

Of course, it’s an “outsider’s” OpEd piece:

Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president

By Mary Brigid McManamon | January 12 at 11:24 AM¹

Donald Trump is actually right about something: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is not a natural-born citizen and therefore is not eligible to be president or vice president of the United States.

The Constitution provides that “No person except a natural born citizen . . . shall be eligible to the office of President.” The concept of “natural born” comes from the common law, and it is that law the Supreme Court has said we must turn to for the concept’s definition. On this subject, the common law is clear and unambiguous. The 18th-century English jurist William Blackstone, the preeminent authority on it, declared natural-born citizens are “such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England,” while aliens are “such as are born out of it.” The key to this division is the assumption of allegiance to one’s country of birth. The Americans who drafted the Constitution adopted this principle for the United States. James Madison, known as the “father of the Constitution,” stated, “It is an established maxim that birth is a criterion of allegiance. [And] place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States.”

Cruz is, of course, a U.S. citizen. As he was born in Canada, he is not natural born. His mother, however, is an American, and Congress has provided by statute for the naturalization of children born abroad to citizens. Because of the senator’s parentage, he did not have to follow the lengthy naturalization process that aliens without American parents must undergo. Instead, Cruz was naturalized at birth. This provision has not always been available. For example, there were several decades in the 19th century when children of Americans born abroad were not given automatic naturalization.

Article I of the Constitution grants Congress the power to naturalize an alien. That is, Congress may remove an alien’s legal disabilities, such as not being allowed to vote. But Article II of the Constitution expressly adopts the legal status of the natural-born citizen and requires that a president possess that status. However we feel about allowing naturalized immigrants to reach for the stars, the Constitution must be amended before one of them can attain the office of president. Congress simply does not have the power to convert someone born outside the United States into a natural-born citizen.

There’s more at the link, but the obvious question is: does the statute which declares that the child of an American citizen born abroad, under which Senator Cruz became a citizen at birth, confer naturalization, or natural-born status? It would seem to me that, if a person is a citizen — which Miss McManamon concedes – and there has been no formal naturalization, then that person is a natural-born citizen. That, however, is a matter of law, for lawyers and judges.

However, as I have stated frequently in the past, if the electoral college decided to vote for a 17 year old Tibetian boy who spoke no English, and the House of Representatives certified that vote, then said 17 year old Tibetian boy who spoke no English would become the President of the United States, regardless of the Constitutional restrictions, because the Constitution provides no enforcement mechanisms through which a President can be disqualified other than impeachment. The Framers simply assumed that the members of the Electoral College and the House of Representatives would be honorable men who would abide by constitutional restrictions.

The real problem for The Washington Post, and for the left in general, is that, regardless of where he was born, Ted Cruz is far more of a real American than any of the Democrats running.
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¹ – Mary Brigid McManamon is a constitutional law professor at Widener University’s Delaware Law School.